NOTE: The Treaty Office is not equipped to serve as a routine source of first resort for the texts of treaties and agreements. We urge you to explore all of the resources on this page thoroughly.
Older treaty texts
TIAS paper publications – Since 1945, TIAS has been the official print publication format for treaties and agreements that have entered into force for U.S. Until 2006, publication of treaties was managed by the Government Printing Office, and a paper publication of each treaty was produced in “slip” or pamphlet form. Funding for this endeavor is no longer provided by Congress. Recent GPO agreements have been digitized and are available online at the GPO website, and older pamphlets are still widely available in federal depositary libraries around the country.
United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (UST) 1950-1982 – a bound compilation, with indices, of TIAS prints. Like the TIAS paper publications, these have been discontinued, but copies of older publications can still be found in federal depositary libraries.
Treaty Series (TS) – Covers advice and consent treaties from 1795-1945. A precursor to the TIAS series, the Treaty Series was printed by the Department of State as individual pamphlets. Bound collections also exist.
Executive Agreement Series (EAS) – Includes executive agreements from 1928-1945. This series was created to include the growing body of executive agreements in the post WWI period. Earlier executive agreements can be found in the Treaty Series, printed as individual pamphlets. Bound collections also exist.
U.S. Statutes at Large (Stat.) Printed until 1948 as bound volumes containing advice-and-consent treaties.
Treaties and agreements concluded by member states of the United Nations are published in the United Nations Treaty Series (UNTS). Its predecessor, the League of Nations Treaty Series (LNTS), can be searched at the same location. Certified True Copies (CTC) of U.N. Conventions are available here.
Multilateral treaties and agreements (three or more parties) often designate one or more governments or international organizations to serve as “depositary” (custodian of the official texts). Many depositaries post online copies of the treaties and agreements for which they are responsible. Treaties in Force (TIF) indicates depositaries for multilateral treaties and agreements in force for the United States. The electronic version of the TIF contains hyperlinks where available.
The United Nations is perhaps the most common depositary. Certified True Copies of UN Conventions can be found here.
Regional and international organizations frequently serve as depositaries for agreements among their members. Some examples:
the African Union
the Council of Europe;
the Hague Convention on Private International Law (HCOPIL);
the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA);
the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO);
the International Committee of the Red Cross; (ICRC);
the International Labour Organization (ILO);
the International Maritime Organization (IMO);
the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)
the Organization of American States
the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO);
the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO);
the World Customs Organization (WCO);
the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO); and
the World Trade Organization (WTO)
For additional sources, visit our links page.
There are many respected compilations of treaty texts in print. The list below is not exhaustive but represents some of the most commonly cited. Your local reference librarian can direct you to these resources.
- Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America 1776-1949, compiled under the direction of Charles I. Bevans.
- Treaties and other International Acts of the United States of America, edited by Hunter Miller.
Treaties, Conventions, International Agreements, Protocols, and Agreements between the United States and Other Powers.
- vols. 1-2, (1776-1909) compiled by William M. Malloy
- vol. III, (1910-1923) edited by C. F. Redmond
- vol. IV, (1923-1937) edited by Edward J. Trenwith
- The International Legal Materials series published in print by the American Society for International Law (select items of interest). The Society also has an extensive online research facility with a treaty database, EISIL.
Senate Treaty Documents (formerly Senate Executive documents) - In print prior to the 97th Congress under the designation “Senate Executive” and other designations. Online from the 104th Congress to the present on the Library of Congress's THOMAS site and from the U.S. Government Printing Office.
Relevant agency websites or bureaus - Some State Department Bureaus and other U.S. Government departments and agencies may maintain texts or links to treaties and agreements of relevance to their mission.
Note: Many of above resources (especially the government publications) have been digitized by subscription services such as HeinOnline, LexisNexis and Westlaw. Some public libraries may offer access to these specialized databases, or local academic libraries may have public terminals that are available for use. In addition, foreign governments, international or non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, and some commercial enterprises maintain online collections of treaty information on a specific topic. Consult a reference librarian for assistance in finding a database or webpage which may have the information you seek.
There are many reasons why a text may not be available:
• The treaty or agreement has only recently entered into force or been concluded and is not yet posted or published.
• The treaty or agreement is not in force.
• The treaty or agreement is not in force for the United States.
• The document is not, in fact, a binding international agreement for the United States.
• The treaty or agreement has not been filed with the Treaty Office.
• Disclosure is restricted.